MSVU Senate Minutes -- March 26 2007

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1 Senate Meeting March 26, 2007 Rosaria Boardroom 7:30pm Minutes of Meeting Present: D. Woolcott (Chair), K. Arbuckle, I. Blum, D. Bourne-Tyson, B. Casey, P. Crouse, Davis, R. Fisher, P. Glenister, P. Gouthro, N. Kayhani, B. King, M. Lyon, C. MacDermott, R. MacKay, J. MacLeod, H. Mallette, K. Manning, A. McCalla, G. McCarney, S. Mumm, M. Raven, J. Sawler, S. Seager, J. Sharpe, L. Steele, B. Taylor, P. Watts, M. Whalen, A. Whitewood, R. Zuk Regrets: R. Bérard, S. Ganong, C. Hill, K. Laurin, C. MacDermott, L. Nash, M. Ruck-Simmonds, R. West Guest: A. Eaton D. Woolcott welcomed guest Amy Eaton, incoming Vice-President (Academic) Studentsâ Union, to the meeting. 1. Approval of Agenda Moved by B. Casey, seconded by B. King to approve the agenda as circulated with the addition of item 7.9.2 Nominations for Standing Committees. CARRIED. 2. Approval of Minutes of January 29, 2007 Moved by D. Bourne-Tyson, seconded by R. Fisher to approve the minutes of January 29, 2007 as circulated. CARRIED. 3. Business Arising from the Minutes 3.1 Revision to Senate By-law 14.10 Committee on Teaching and Learning Moved by P. Watts, seconded by M. Lyon that Senate approve the proposed Purpose, membership and Functions changes to By-law 14.10, Committee on Teaching and Learning. CARRIED 4. Presidentâ s Announcements D. Woolcott expressed K. Laurinâ s apologies for her absence from the Senate meeting and reported on behalf of K. Laurin on the Strategic Planning Process and the federal and provincial budgets. D. Woolcott gave a brief update on the Strategic Planning Process, indicating that B. Taylor, Senate Representative on the Strategic Planning Committee, would have a report later in the meeting. Phase 2 of the strategic planning process will involve identifying strategic themes, strategies, and objectives. Dr. 2 Chris Bart has been invited to return as part of the process and many other participants will be involved: Strategic Planning Steering Committee, members of the Extended Forum, department chairs or designates, and members of four Senate committees (Graduate Studies Program and Policy Committee, Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, Teaching and Learning, and CAPP). For these participants there will be a two day retreat in April involving two exercises to move into the next phase. Outcomes of the retreat will be communicated to the university community. A special meeting of Senate may take place in June to review and approve the work done to date on the strategic plan; following that it would go on to the Board of Governors. Both the federal and provincial budgets came down last week and contained information of relevance to the University. The federal budget indicated that there will be more money going into the key funding councils, SSHRC, NSERC, and CIHR, and more for the indirect costs of research programs through the Canadian Foundation for Innovation, as well as enhanced support for graduate students. On the international education side, there is funding for a Canadian marketing campaign to attract international students to come to study at post-secondary institutions in this country. There are no details yet from the Department of Education regarding the provincial budget. It did include funding that would offset tuition increases, an additional allotment that would help Nova Scotia students with their tuition. The Nova Scotia government is committed to try to get to the national average of tuition fees by about 2010-11. Other items in the budget included changes to the Student Loan Program, introducing a multi-year needs based program to help students from low income families after their first year of studies. 5. Question Period There were no questions. 6. Unfinished Business There was no unfinished business. 7. Committee Reports (Standing and Ad hoc) 7.1 Senate Executive There was no report. 7.2 Academic Appeals Committee J. Sawle r reported that the Committee had numerous appeals this semester and these are gradually being dealth with. There has been one hearing since the last Senate meeting, another case has been concluded without a hearing, another hearing is likely this coming Thursday, and there are three more appeals before the Committee. A Senator questioned if there were any commonalities in the appeals relevant to faculty in terms of what could be done in order to reduce appeals in the future. Nothing was noted specifically, but there is an unusual number of appeals dealing with process, rather than appeals of final grades. 7.3 Academic Policy and Planning 7.3.1 Notice of Motion: Revisions to Senate By-law 14.3 In response to a Senatorâ s question of clarification regarding this by-law â six faculty members, elected by faculty; at least one, and at most two â ¦ and at most one professional librarian,â it was noted that this part of the existing by-law is not subject to change; the intent of the sentence allows either six faculty members with two from each faculty, or two faculty members from each of two faculties with a single faculty member from the third faculty and a professional librarian. 3 7.3.2 Report on the Review of Distance Learning and Continuing Education J. Sharpe reported that he was asked to Chair CAPP for this report because Distance Learning and Continuing Education reports directly to D. Woolcott. The Reviewersâ Report was submitted in June 2005, followed with the DLCE response in December 2005. One of the key recommendations of the CAPP report is the call for DLCE, working with others, to develop course models for the delivery of distance learning to ensure the integration of principles of instructional design into all courses and appropriate instructional technologies for course delivery. A second key recommendation is that Multimode and Instructional Television areas of DLCE be integrated into one administrative structure whereby faculty have one point of contact for a variety of options for course delivery. CAPP recommends the initiation of a committee chaired by P. Watts to look at models including both these types of delivery and future types of delivery. This committee would have representatives from faculty, Deans, the Library-a broad range across the University-and would also consult with all of those groups as well. Other CAPP recommendations relate to integrated academic planning so that Distance Education courses are integrated with overall course planning by Departments and Deans. Finally, for Continuing Education, there needs to be a survey of departments for areas or interests as there is substantial innovation going on in some professional areas where there is outreach into the professional community. Within a year or year after this report to Senate those persons named in the recommendations will report back to CAPP on action taken on recommendations. Senators indicated that some faculty may not participate in distance education due to the workload and not because they are uninformed or because there is no support. It was noted that the workload issue can be considered by the ad hoc committee. A Senator noted that on page 21 of the report in the attached documentation (page 11 of Appendix I, # 10) â Changes to the collective bargaining agreement with faculty to support one deanâ s conclusion that â a course is a course is a courseâ , even if delivered in different modesâ is one point of view while there is another point of view that a distance course is not the same as an in class course. Currently the collective agreement does not mandate teaching by distance, which would be an issue of concern for a number of faculty. It was noted that Appendix I lists the â Reviewersâ Recommendationsâ whereas the recommendations being sent for Senateâ s information are CAPPâ s recommendations. CAPP includes the reviewersâ recommendations as background information. Regarding student input, the report suggests that there would be student consultations, and it would be of interest to the Studentsâ Union to understand and keep abreast of how these consultations would be developed. As well, students in distance courses who may not be on campus should be included to obtain a broad range of student input. Presently distance students are surveyed once a year online (using Survey Monkey) making it easy for students to respond. In response to a question on the meaning of maintaining the â currencyâ of instructional television broadcast courses, currency is seen in two senses: in terms of information being up-to-date and in terms of the broadcasting technology. 7.4 Graduate Studies Program and Policy M. Lyon reported that the Committee has met twice since the last Senate meeting but has nothing to report. 7.5 Undergraduate Curriculum 7.5.1 Curriculum proposals (for information) Sociology/Anthropology SOAN 3306 â Race & Ethnic Relations Change to existing course â new prerequisite, SOAN 1011 4 A Senator queried the change from a third year to a first year prerequisite. S. Mumm indicated the change was requested by the department because the the courses over time had become quite distinct from one another and students didnâ t need SOAN 3303 in order to succeed in SOAN 3306 and that the departmentâ s justification that the first year course should be the prerequisite was that the basic knowledge of sociological and anthropological approaches that students require for SOAN 3306 was covered in SOAN 1101. In response to a Senatorâ s inquiry regarding the course remaining a 3000 level course and not changing to a 2000 level course, S. Mumm advised that there was no intention to change the course content and the content would remain at the level it was at. As SOAN 3303 is a half unit (the other half of SOAN 3306) and SOAN 3303 already has SOAN 1101 as a prerequisite, the change is for consistency in the Calendar. 7.6 Committee on Appointment, Promotion and Tenure or Permanence for Academic (CAPTPAA) 7.6.1 Professor Emeritus nominations Moved by S. Seager, seconded by J. MacLeod to move to in camera session to conduct balloting for Professor Emeritus nominees. CARRIED. Moved by K. Arbuckle, seconded by A. McCalla to move out of in camera session. CARRIED. 7.7 Committee on Information Technology and Services P. Crouse reported that the Committee has not met since the last Senate meeting. Senators discussed the new layer of protection disclaimer added to all MSVU outgoing email with reference to the terms of reference for the Committee on Technology and Services â to include on occasion broader issues that affect the university community as a whole .â P. Crouse reported that the new policy of having this layer of protection had not been discussed by the Committee on Information and Technology Services. A Senator stated that MSVU is the only Canadian university automatically adding this to email and that this has raised concerns of faculty. A Senator expressed frustration at unsuccessful attempts in initiating discussion with the Committee. Though a meeting schedule was set in the fall, a meeting for this week is tentative, and to date no meeting has been called. A follow-up will be made by members of the Senate Committee on the issue of currency of the web site information. 7.8 Library There was no report. 7.9 Nominations 7.9.1 Confirmation of Membership of Student Judicial Committee and Student Discipline Appeals Committee I. Blum reported that all the members listed have been appointed to these committees over the past two years and, from time to time, membership from one committee has moved to the other or changed status from alternate. The Nominations Committee is requesting that Senate re-affirm the current list as the compositio n of the committees for the current year. STUDENT JUDICIAL COMMITTEE Chairperson: Dr. Marlene Ruck-Simmonds Faculty Re presentatives Term Begins Term Ends Prof. Robert Bagg (Alternate), Professional January 30,2006 June 30, 2008 Dr. Marlene Ruck-Simmonds January 29, 2007 June 30, 2009 5 Dr. Hui Li, Arts & Sciences January 29, 2007 June 30, 2007 Dr. Randi Warne (Alternate), Arts & Sciences July 1, 2004 June 30, 2007 STUDENT DISCIPLINE APPEALS COMMITTEE Chairperson: Prof. Jean Mills Faculty Representatives Term Begins Term Ends Dr. German Avila -Sakar, Arts & Sciences July 1, 2005 June 30, 2008 Prof. Robert Bagg (Alternate), Professional January 30, 2006 June 30, 2008 Prof. Jean Mills, Professional October 30, 2006 June 30, 2009 Dr. Randi Warne (Alternate), Arts & Sciences July 1, 2004 June 30, 2007 Moved by I. Blum that Senate approve the names on the committees on the lists as circulated, seconded by H. Mallette. CARRIED. 7.9.2 Nominations for Standing Committees I. Blum explained that this additional item added to the agenda and circulated at the meeting is a recommendation to elect two additional members-at-large to the University Research Ethics Board. The current By-laws specify a minimum number to serve on that committee and that minimum was achieved with the current membership of the committee but the workload of the Board is such that they are very anxious to have extra help. Moved by I. Blum, seconded by A. Davis that Senate approve the appointments of Dr. A. Manning and Dr. M. Eskritt to the University Research Ethics Board as members-at-large. CARRIED. A Senator asked if there had been consideration of the Tri-Council Guidelines that, as the size of the committee increases beyond the minimum, there should be more community members. I. Blum noted that the Senate Nominations Committee is not involved in determining community members who are selected by the UREB itself. I. Blum also reported that the Senate Nominations Committee is currently starting to develop the slate of nominees for 2007/8 Senate elected committees for approval at the May Senate meeting. The Senate Nominations Committee will soon be sending out a letter to faculty seeking an expression of interest in serving on some of these committees as well as for nominations. 7.10 Research and Publications 7.10.1 Notice of Motion: Changes to CRP Terms of reference, By-law 14.8 7.10.2 Changes to the Canada Research Chair Strategic Research Plan (Summary) A. Davis reported that the intent of the proposed changes is to enable MSVU science research to be recognized explicitly in the MSVU Strategic Research Plan. Assessment feedback on previous grants noted that MSVUâ s Strategic Research Plan Summary makes no mention of science, making it difficult to connect the Canadian Foundation for Innovation Research Infrastructure Proposal and the MSVU Strategic Research Plan. This summary revision will serve to represent MSVU better to our science colleagues and provide information and assurance for assessors of MSVU proposals for grants. The Committee didnâ t think it wise to try to identify new research themes that would require an entire re-draft 6 of the old plan. Within the human development envelope, because arguably all inquir ies are in respect of human interest and human development, a paragraph has been inserted. Moved by A. Davis, seconded by R. McKay that Senate approve the changes as submitted and included on pages 27-31 of the agenda document package. CARRIED In answer to a Senatorâ s question, it was affirmed that the Catherine Wallace Centre for Women in Science still exists and at least two women scientists have research labs there. 7.10.3 Changes to Release Time Awards (Regular and New Scholars) Moved by A. Davis, seconded by M. Raven that Senate approve the change that one of the two New Scholars RTAs be reallocated to the Faculty RTA category for the April 2008 competition. CARRIED A.Davis indicated that, within the collective agreement, providing for new probationary appointees a ½ course reduction over two years by reserving two of six release time awards for allocation to them, the Committee feels has run its course in terms of straightforward allocation. Although this yearâ s competition is yet to come, the Committee is concerned that there may be an insufficient number of qualified applicants from a shrinking pool of potential applicants to the two RTAs reserved for new scholars under the old arrangement. The Committee is only asking for this change to the April 2008 competition and expects to re-examine the issue from the point of view of the number of potential applicants possibly result ing in the elimination of the new scholar category. Certain categories of new MSVU appointees do not qualify under the collective agreement even though they may be tenured or tenure streamed. They may qualify later for the new scholar release time award, so on that basis alone there may be reason to reserve one of the six for those categories. In response to a Senatorâ s question on the possibility, if there is no appropriate application for a new scholar award, that it will become a regular faculty award, A. Davis indicated that the committeeâ s option would be not to award those that are reserved if there are inappropriate or unqualified applications and instead redistribute on an ad hoc basis. A. Davis reported further that the Committee will be meeting tomorrow to begin dealing with the last round of applications for internal funds; there will then be meetings on policy issues. And, although there is some internal research money available for this current competition, the committee will see that it is all spent this year. 7.11 Student Affairs G. McCarney reported that the sub-committees (Student Affairs, Orientation Committee) have met several times but there is nothing to report. 7.12 Committee on Teaching and Learning P. Watts reported that the Committee last met on March 9 to adjudicate the nominations for the Instructional Leadership and the Teaching Innovation Awards, both of which will be made at the May convocation. In response to a Senatorâ s inquiry regarding Faculty Day topic suggestions, P. Watts reported that the Committee will soon be distributing a request for suggestions. 7.13 Writing Initiatives There was no report. 7.14 Undergraduate Admissions and Scholarships J. MacLeod reported that the Committee has recently met twice to consider new entrance scholarships, Presidentâ s Scholarships, and other scholarships, and will meet again next week. 7.15 Graduate Scholarships, Assistantships and Awards 7 M. Lyon reported that the Committee met since the last Senate meeting to award several admissions scholarships and are working on the graduate merit scholarships which are our internal awards. 7.16 University Research Ethics Board H. Mallette reported that the Board last met about a month ago to discuss the process for getting through the work of the Board. The UREB has concerns regarding the quantity of work and the training necessary to be able to be an active member of the Board. Board members probably need a month or two to catch up to be able to handle the Boardâ s workload. In response to a Senatorâ s question regarding education of the faculty as a whole on the ethical research process so that applications would be easier to process, H. Mallette indicated that, with respect to student research, the Tri-Council only reminds faculty to be aware of the stress which may face students with research projects so the Board is drafting an appropriate memo to faculty. Expanding the Boardâ s membership will give it additional time and energy to invest in community education initiatives, discovering and allocating resources in support of that exercise, and discussions on working with community members. Senatorsâ discussion suggested workshops for students and faculty to help the process move along more quickly. 8. Other Reports 8.1 Board of Governors N. Kayhani reported that the Board of Governors last met on February 8 and have had several conference calls. The February 8th meeting dealt with issues such as enrolment statistics, strategic planning, the Capital Campaign update and several committee reports. Conference calls were related to the Finance Committee to discuss and approve the recommendation from the Finance and Campus Planning Committee on selection of an architect for the new Teaching and Learning Research Centre. 8.2 Studentsâ Union K. Arbuckle reported that the Studentsâ Union held executive elections on March 12 and 14, 2007. Elections for other council members are going on this week and two referendums are in progress, one posing a question to students about the amount of services in the current Studentsâ Union dental plan to trade off a small increase in the fee for greater benefits. The second is a referendum on the Student Refugee Program to determine if students want to add an additional levy to bring a refugee student to the Mount, hopefully next year. The Studentsâ Union is busy with the transition of the old and new executive and council members, management positions have been posted, and the next yearâ s budget is being planned. The Studentsâ Union was very pleased to see the government freeze tuition fees for a year but this shouldnâ t overshadow the plan for reduction that was already in place. In response to a Senatorâ s question if the Student Refugee Program was planning to raise money to pay for the tuition, K. Arbuckle indicated that there is a tuition waiver agreement already for the first year of this studentâ s education as well as a residence waiver, so the Studentsâ Union would use the additional fee for the other expenses involved. In response to Senatorsâ questions that the studentâ s identity within the university may invade privacy and create undue personal pressure, K. Arbuckle replied that the program is operated through the World University Service of Canada and at another university the refugee student was publicly active on campus, and often the refugee students are coming from such dire situations that identifying them is not an issue, but the Studentsâ Union will pass along Senatorsâ concerns to WUSC. 8.3 Report from Senate Representative on the Strategic Planning Committee B. Taylor reported on the Strategic Planning process, noting that Phase 2 calls for an enlarged pool of participants, in particular from faculty- every department has been asked to send a Chair or designate- as 8 well as four Senate committees. He expressed concern regarding lack of Senate attention to this issue by examining Senateâ s involvement in previous strategic planning. Blueprint 98 went through two phases. Phase 1 (1991-1992) initiated with the Board, Senate, and a steering committee with five thematic groups. The mandates of the Steering Committee and these working groups were brought to Senate in February 1992 when Senate approved the mandates and personnel for all of the committees, and selected a Senate representative to sit on all of the committees. With reports from those committees, planning moved into Phase 2 (1992-1994). The terms of reference for the Phase 2 committee originated with CAPP, through to Senate and to the Board for approval. In November 1993, the terms of reference and the membership of the Blueprint 98 Committee were approved by Senate and on November 15, 1993, a special Senate meeting was completely devoted to the issue of strategic planning. On March 29, 1994, the plan was approved by Senate, and later by the Board. For Phase 3 (1996-1997), the Blueprint Committee composition was based on the recent Search Committee for Academic Vice-President, using the same breakdown of membership. It created working groups similar to those in Phase 1, but this time these were not approved by Senate. On September 29, 1997, Blueprint 98 was approved by Senate. Blueprint 2000 began with a retreat by the Board resulting in a new vision for the Mount. When this was reported back to Senate, there was concern that this overlapped with what was already in place and so a new round of strategic planning was undertaken called Blueprint 2000 (1998-1999). Senate Executive referred the Boardâ s proposed mission to the Blueprint Committee which was still in existence, and the Blueprint Committee established a new planning process without these separate thematic groups, providing updates fairly regularly to the Senate Executive and to the Boardâ s Executive. In October 1999, Senate approved that third Blueprint. B. Taylor noted that in all three instances, the process ultimately came to Senate and to the Board for approval. He had highlighted all the steps where Senate had been actively involved particularly for academic issues. So far, in this round of strategic planning, Senateâ s only formally adopted motion has been to put him on the Strategic Planning Steering Committee, and that subsequently he had requested to make this report to Senate rather than having been asked. It is heartening, then, that the next phase of the present planning process, instead of establishing ad hoc committees, will include Senate Committee members, which in some ways is an improvement and commendable since Senate hadnâ t itself actually asked for this, as is asking for departmental representatives. But now the whole process will only work if Senate takes its responsibilities far more seriously than to date. Senatorsâ discussion expressed a great many concerns such as the frustration with attempts to find out what was happening in Phase 1 now extending to Phase 2 and from whom to find information. There was also concern that following focus groups or town halls their issues are not reflected back. Chairs have recently been given deadlines for responses that are too tight to meet and afford little opportunity to consult with department members. Senators who are also Chairs didnâ t feel entitled to respond as a Department Chair without departmental consultation in order to be able to properly represent departments. Anonymous comments, in the university context, should not have the same weight as those submitted publicly. D. Woolcott pointed out that Insight, MSVUâ s weekly electronic community newsletter, contains summaries by the President on strategic planning but currently there is nothing to report other than that Phase 2 is in progress. In terms of communication with the broader community, after the April 23-24 retreat there will be something to present, but in the meantime the content that will go into that discussion and retreat is being developed. If there are items to bring forward at the retreat, they should be brought through Department Chairs or designates, the Steering Committee, the Extended Forum, or members of the four Senate committees to provide a breadth of faculty representation with a real increase in the number of faculty represented in Phase 2. The Steering Committee did not expect Chairs to hold department meetings but could choose to have consultations with colleagues. The Steering Committee is aware that the deadline dates present a tight turn around, but this timeframe includes steps needing to be 9 completed before the retreat. Decisions will not be made at the retreat, which will be for discussion leading to a document to which there will be an opportunity for feedback. D. Woolcott noted that the concerns expressed by Senators will be conveyed to the Steering Committee including the issue of the retreat preparation document being available to others than those selected to attend the retreat. In response to a Senatorâ s question regarding the Faculty of Education not having departments, but having 29 faculty, D. Woolcott indicated that the two directors had been invited to the retreat. Senators raised the matter of student input into Phase 2 as the President of the Studentsâ Union is also on the Strategic Planning Steering Committee but students do not have access to Insight to read the Presidentâ s communications; means to distribute these communications to students, offering them the opportunity to supply more new ideas, should be found. D. Woolcott noted that the suggestion will be taken back to the Steering Committee. 9. New Business A Senator raised the issue that, for Convocation, the University will provide faculty not owning a gown and hood with those which rarely correspond to their actual degrees or institutions, and this could be seen as academic dishonesty. Without the proper apparel one should wear a black robe and not someone elseâ s hood. It would be appropriate to seek to ban this practice. D. Woolcott indicated that this will be conveyed to Senate Executive. 10. Items for Communication Revision will be made to by-law 14. Those elected or confirmed in Senate committee positions will be so informed. The Research and Publications Office will update the documents relevant to that Office. 11. Adjournment Moved by R. Fisher to adjourn the meeting at 9:20pm. CARRIED. Respectfully submitted, Kathleen Brown